Compare Lexapro vs. Cymbalta

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Lexapro
(escitalopram)

Cymbalta
(duloxetine)

Improves mood and helps you relax. Lexapro (escitalopram) is good for treating depression and anxiety. It is less likely to cause side effects than and has fewer drug interactions. However, it might not be a good choice if you have liver or heart problems.Improves mood and relieves certain kinds of pain. Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is good for treating depression and anxiety, and may help with chronic pain. More likely than other antidepressants to cause problems if you drink or have high blood pressure.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
4.89Lexapro
Reviews for Lexapro
61%
of people (All ages) say Lexapro is worth it
48%
say it works well
15%
say it's a big hassle
1063 reviews
Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Cymbalta
58%
+3% better vs. Lexapro
49%
-1% worse vs. Lexapro
24%
+9% better vs. Lexapro
496 reviews
Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
LexaproCymbalta
  • Nausea 8%
  • Insomnia 5%
  • Problems with ejaculation 9%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Dry Mouth 1%
  • Somnolence 4%
  • Runny nose 1%
  • Fatigue 3%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Flu-like symptoms 1%
More Lexapro side effects »
  • Nausea 15%
  • Headache 2%
  • Dry mouth 8%
  • Somnolencee 7%
  • Fatigue 4%
  • Insomnia 4%
  • Constipation 5%
  • Dizziness 4%
  • Diarrhea 3%
  • Decreased appetite 5%
More Cymbalta side effects »
How it works
LexaproCymbalta
Lexapro (escitalopram) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin in the brain which regulates mood.Cymbalta (Duloxetine) is a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. It increases serotonin and norepinephrine activity in the brain, which regulates mood.
Type of medication
LexaproCymbalta
Prescription onlyPrescription only
Available as
LexaproCymbalta
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Used for
LexaproCymbalta
Risk factors for serious side effects
LexaproCymbalta
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Lexapro (escitalopram) suddenly
  • Taking blood thinners
  • Bipolar disorder
Detailed Lexapro (escitalopram) risks & warnings »
  • Age 24 years or younger
  • Using other medications that affect serotonin
  • Stopping Cymbalta (Duloxetine) suddenly
  • History of high blood pressure
  • Taking other blood-thinning drugs
Detailed Cymbalta (duloxetine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
LexaproCymbalta
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
No interactions related info.
Food
LexaproCymbalta
No food related info.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
LexaproCymbalta
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
Pain
LexaproCymbalta
No pain related info.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
Weight
LexaproCymbalta
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
LexaproCymbalta
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers the likelihood that your depression will come back.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) has less drug interactions than other similar antidepressants and might cause fewer side effects.
  • Effective at relieving depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • Lowers relapse rates for depression.
  • Can relieve some types of chronic pain. Might be particularly good at pain relief for people who are also depressed.
  • Six out of ten people who use an antidepressant for the first time find that it works for them.
Downsides and risks
LexaproCymbalta
  • Can cause a small weight gain of 1-5 pounds.
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) is not a good option if you have heart or liver problems.
  • The first antidepressant you try might not always work, so you may need to try a few different medicines until you find one that works for you.
  • Not a good option if you're a heavy drinker, or if you have liver or kidney problems.
  • Not the best option for people with high blood pressure.
  • Like most antidepressants, can cause higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior for people age 24 and younger.
  • The first antidepressant you try doesn't always work or it can cause side effects you really don't like. You might need to try a few different medications until you find one that works for you.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
LexaproCymbalta
  • Don't suddenly stop taking DRUG NAME. Talk to your doctor about how to slowly go down in your dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
  • Like other SSRI medications, it could take up to 8 weeks to see the full effects of Lexapro (escitalopram).
  • Take Lexapro (escitalopram) in the morning since it can keep you up if you take it at night.
  • Take with food to avoid upset stomach.
  • Full effects in 8 to 12 weeks for mood, 2 weeks for pain.
  • Stop taking slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tell your doctor if you notice sudden mood changes or unusual thoughts.
Learn more
More about LexaproSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Lexapro (escitalopram)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about CymbaltaSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Cymbalta (duloxetine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it